By Brian Smith & Jackie Cuscuna, Illustrated by Lauren Kaelin, Photographs by Lucy Schaeffer
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95, 223 pages
For a cookbook reviewer, careful layout of recipes for the cook’s convenience is essential. Ample Hills Creamery fails in this respect. Nevertheless, this book by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna is so excellent that it was necessary to overlook this deficiency. In spite of its great quality, the book is for a rather limited audience—those who make their own ice creams and who are willing to spend serious kitchen time. The ice creams are truly original, unique creations in their Brooklyn creamery, and if you are into homemade ice creams, this book should be your first choice.
“Actually, there’s no secret to making great ice cream.”
The introduction provides you with all the essentials: equipment, ingredients and basic kitchen techniques. First you need to master the ice cream base, then you can choose from simple to elaborate ice creams that the authors present in nine chapters. They also give the inclusion recipes (little chunks in the ice cream). Consider such recipes as fire-roasted marshmallow, or a blend of five breakfast cereals (all inclusions). The head notes are great, and the illustrations are priceless: photos, wonderful sketches, even puzzles and comic strips, all related to this creamery. Kids’ stories and the three main characters throughout (cow, chicken and pig) are delightful.
Reviewed by George Erdosh